Elements Lounge nightclub is temporary closing in The Strand following a dispute with its liquor licence owner, the Liquor Licensing Board heard Tuesday.
“I’ve been pulled in front of the board several times now for various problems with the liquor licence and the location, and unfortunately the people that are managing and running the operation pay me no mind,” said James Laurenson, owner of the retail liquor licence.
Mr. Laurenson said he was in a position where he had “no control over what is going on” and asked if he could transfer his liquor licence over to Lauren’s Restaurant in Buckingham Square on West Bay Road.
“… I decided that for peace of mind I would try to move my liquor licence from somewhere that is problematic to somewhere that is a little bit more easier to deal with, where I would have a say in the situation that goes on in the location,” said Mr. Laurenson.
Elements Lounge owner Harry Lalli objected to the removal of the liquor licence because he said he needed time to secure another license.
“I just think this whole idea of people being able to just move a license to put businesses that exist out of business is something that the board should really consider…,” said Mr. Lalli.
He said, the previous management that was having issues with Mr. Laurenson had been removed, and that he was making arrangements to hire new operators to renovate the night club, but that everything had to be put on hold until a decision was made by the board.
Mr. Lalli had been renting the liquor license from Mr. Laurenson for more than three years on a monthly basis but no contracts had been signed between the two parties.
On Wednesday, the Liquor Licensing Board ruled in favor of Mr. Laurenson, granting him the right to transfer his license to Lauren’s Restaurant.
Mr. Lalli confirmed the nightclub is closed and said he hopes it will reopen in November.